Notes and Queries, Number 74, March 29, 1851 online

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beginning of Charles I.'s reign, at the great age of 162 years."

On my return home I was much surprised and gratified to find in my own
house, framed and glazed, a very clever small-sized portrait in crayon,
which at once struck me a a fac-simile (or nearly so) of the engraving I
had seen at Lansdowne Lodge.

Your correspondent C. in p. 219. appears very sceptical about this female
Methuselah! and speaks of a reputed portrait at Windsor "as a gross
imposition, being really that of an old man" -

"Non nostrum tantus componere lites:"

but I would remind your correspondent C. that such longevity is not
impossible, and the traditions of the Countess of Desmond are widely
diffused. The portrait in my possession is not unlike an old man; but old
ladies, like old hen pheasants, are apt to put on the semblance of the


_Aristophanes on the Modern Stage_ (Vol. iii., p. 105.). - In reply to a
Query of our correspondent C. J. R., I beg leave to state, that, after
having made inquiry on the subject, I cannot find that any of the Comedies
of Aristophanes have ever been introduced upon the English stage, although
I agree with him in thinking that some of them might be advantageously
adapted to the modern theatre; and I am more confirmed in this opinion from
having witnessed at the Odéon in Paris, some years since, a dramatic piece,
entitled "Les Nuées d'Aristophane," which had a great run there. It was not
a literal translation from the Greek author, but a kind of mélange, drawn
from the Clouds and Plutus together. The characters of Socrates and his
equestrian son were very well performed; but the scenic accessories I
considered very meagre, particularly the choral part, which must have been
so striking and beautiful in the original of the former drama. Upon my
return to England I wrote to the then lessee of Drury Lane Theatre,
recommending a similar experiment on our stage from the free version by
Wheelwright, published some time before by the late D. A. Talboys, of
Oxford. The answer I received was, that the manager had then too much on
his hands to admit of his giving time to such an undertaking, which I still
think might be a successful one (as is the case with the "Antigone" {251}
of Sophocles, so often represented at Berlin), and such as to ensure the
favourable attention of an English audience, particularly as the subject
turns so much upon the danger and uselessness of the meteoric or visionary
education, then so prevalent at Athens.


Dusseldorf, March 6.

_Denarius Philosophorum_ (Vol. iii., p. 168.). - Bishop Thornborough may
have been thus styled from his attachment to alchemy and chemistry. One of
his publications is thus entitled:

"Nihil, Aliquid, Omnia, in Gratiam eorum qui Artem Auriferam
Physico-chymicè et pie, profitentur." Oxon. 1621.

Another part of his monumental inscription is singular. On the north side
are, or were, these words and figures - "In uno, 2^o 3^a 4^r 10 - non spirans

"He was," says Wood, "a great encourager of Bushall in his searches
after mines and minerals:"

and Richardson speaks of this prelate as -

"Rerum politicarum potius quam Theologicarum et artis Chemicæ peritia

J. H. M.

_On a Passage in the Tempest_ (Vol. ii., pp. 259. 299. 337. 429. 499.). - If
you will allow me to offer a conjecture on a subject, which you may think
has already been sufficiently discussed in your pages, I shall be glad to
submit the following to the consideration of your readers.

The passage in the _Tempest_, Act III. Scene 1., as quoted from the first
folio, stands thus:

"I forget:
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours
Most busie lest, when I do it."

This was altered in the second folio to

"Most busie least, when I do it."

Instead of which Theobald proposes, -

"Most busyless, when I do it."

But "busyless" is not English. All our words ending in _less_ (forming
adjectives), are derived from Anglo-Saxon nouns; as love, joy, hope, &c.,
and never from adjectives.

My conjecture is that Shakespeare wrote -

"I forget:
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labour's
Most business, when I do it."

"Most" being used in the sense of "greatest," as in _Henry VI._, Pt. I.,
Act IV. Scene 1., (noticed by Steevens): -

"But always resolute in most extremes."

Thus the change of a single syllable is sufficient to make good English,
good sense, and good metre of a passage which is otherwise defective in
these three particulars. It retains the _s_ in "labours," keeps the comma
in its place, and provides that antecedent for "it," which was justly
considered necessary by MR. SINGER.


30. Upper Gower Street.

_Meaning of Waste-book_ (Vol. iii., pp. 118, 195.). - Richard Dafforne, of
Northampton, in his very curious

"Merchant's Mirrour, or Directions for the Perfect Ordering and Keeping
of his Accounts; framed by way of Debitor and Creditor after the (so
tearmed) Italian Manner, containing 250 rare Questions, with their
Answers in the form of a Dialogue; as likewise a Waste Book, with a
complete Journal and Ledger thereunto appertaining;"

annexed to Malyne's _Consuetudo vel Lex Mercatoria_, edit. 1636, folio,
gives rather a different explanation of the origin of the term "waste-book"
to that contained in the answer of your last correspondent. "WASTE-BOOK,"
he observes,

"So called, because, when the Matter is written into the Journall, then
is this Book void, and of no esteeme, especially in Holland; where the
buying people firme not the Waste-book, as here our nation doe in


_Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Craigs_ (Vol. iii., p. 119.). - L. M. M. R. is
informed that there is a tradition of King Arthur having defeated the
Saxons in the neighbourhood of this hill, to the top of which he ascended
for the purpose of viewing the country.

In the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ we have another explanation also (_sub
voce_), as follows: -

"Arthur's Seat is said to be derived, or rather corrupted, from A'rd
Seir, a 'place or field of arrows,' where people shot at a mark: and
this not improperly; for, among these cliffs is a dell, or recluse
valley, where the wind can scarcely reach, now called the Hunter's Bog,
the bottom of it being a morass."

The article concludes thus:

"The adjacent crags are supposed to have taken their name from the Earl
of Salisbury; who, in the reign of Edward III., accompanied that prince
in an expedition against the Scots."

But query "a height of earth;" "earthes" (an old form of the genitive), or
"airthes height," not unnaturally corrupted to "Arthur's Seat."

W. T. M.


_Salisbury Craigs._ - Craiglockhart Hill and Craigmillar Castle, both in the
neighbourhood of the Craigs, are all so called from the Henry de
Craigmillar, who built the castle (now in ruins) in the twelfth century.
There is a charter in the reign of Alexander II., in 1212, by William, son
of Henry de Craigmillar, to the monastery of Dunfermline, which is the
earliest record of the castle.


_Meaning of "Harrisers"_ (Vol. ii., p. 376.). - I am told that the practice
which CLERICUS RUSTICUS {252} speaks of, holds in Yorkshire, but not the

In Devon a corn-field, which has been cut and cleared, is called an
"arrish." A vacant stubblefield is so called during the whole of the autumn

Your correspondent suggests "arista;" can he support this historically? If
not, it is surely far-fetched. Let me draw attention to a word in our
English Bible, which has been misunderstood before now by readers who were
quite at home in the original languages: "_earing nor harvest_" (Genesis).
Without some acquaintance with the earlier forms of our mother tongue, one
is liable to take _earing_ to mean the same as "harvest," from the
association of _ears_ of corn. But it is the substantive from the
Anglo-Saxon verb _erian_, to plough, to till: so that "earing nor harvest"
= "sowing nor reaping." From _erian_ we may pass on to _arare_, and from
that to _arista_: in the long pedigree of language they are scarcely
unconnected: but the Anglo-Saxon is not _derived_ from the Latin; they are,
each in its own language, genuine and independent forms. But it is curious
to see what an attraction these distant cousins have for one another, let
them only come within each other's sphere of gravitation.

In, Yorkshire the verb _to earland_ is still a _living_ expression; and a
Yorkshireman, who has more Saxon than Latin in him, will not write "arable
land," but "_ear_able land." A Yorkshire clergyman tells me that this
orthography has been perpetuated in a local act of parliament of no very
ancient date.

Putting all these facts together, I am inclined to think that "arrish" must
first mean "land for tillage;" and that the connexion of the word with
"gleaning" or "gleaners" is the effect of association, and therefore of
later date.

But it must be observed, there is a difference between "arrish" and
"harrisers." Can it be shown that Dorset-men are given to aspirating their
words? Besides this, there is a great difference between "arri_ss_ers" and
"arri_sh_ers" for counties so near as Dorset and Devon. And again, while I
am quite familiar with the word "arrish," I never heard "arrishers," and I
believe it is unknown in Devonshire.

J. E.


_Harrisers or Arrishers._ - Doubtless, by this time, some dozen Devonshire
correspondents will have informed you, for the benefit of CLERICUS
RUSTICUS, that _arrishers_ is the term prevailing in that county for
"stubble." The Dorset harrisers are therefore, perhaps, the second set of
gleaners, who are admitted to the fields to pick up from the stubble, or
_arrishes_, the little left behind by the reapers' families. A third set of
gleaners has been admitted from time immemorial, namely, the _Anser
stipularis_, which feeds itself into plump condition for Michaelmas by
picking up, from between the stubble, the corns which fell from the ears
during reaping and sheaving. The Devonshire designation for this excellent
sort of poultry - known elsewhere as "stubble geese" - is "arrish geese."

The derivation of the word must be left to a better provinial philologist

W. H. W.

_Chaucer's "Fifty Wekes"_ (Vol. iii., p. 202.). - A. E. B.'s natural and
ingeniously-argued conjecture, that Chaucer, by the "_fifty wekes_" of the
_Knightes Tale_, "meant to imply the interval of _a solar year_," - whether
we shall rest in accepting the poet's measure of time loosely and
poetically, or (which I would gladly feel myself authorised to do) find in
it, with your correspondent, an astronomical and historical reason, - is
fully secured by the comparison with Chaucer's original.

The _Theseus_ of Boccaccio says, appointing the listed fight:

"E TERMINE vi sia a ciò donato

To which the poet subjoins:

"E così fu ordinato."

See TESEIDE, v. 98.

A. L. X.

_The Almond Tree, &c._ (Vol. iii., p. 203.). - The allusions in Hall's poem,
stanzas iii. & v., refer to the fine allegorical description of human
decrepitude in _Ecclesiastes_, xii. 5, 6., when

"'The almond tree shall flourish' (_white hairs_), and 'the silver cord
shall be loosed,' and 'the golden bowl broken,' and 'the mourners shall
go about the streets.'"

The pertinence of these solemn figures has been sufficiently explained by
biblical commentators. It is to be presumed that the reference to a source
so well known as the Bible would have occurred at once to the Querist, had
not the allusions, in the preceding stanza, to the _heathen_ fable of
Medea, diverted his thoughts from that more familiar channel.



[Similar explanations have been kindly furnished by S. C., HERMES,
P. K., R. P., J. F. M., J. D. A., and also by W. (2), who refers to
Mead's _Medica Sacra_ for an explanation of the whole passage.]

_St. Thomas's Onions_ (Vol. iii., p. 187.). - In reference to the Query, Why
is St. Thomas frequently mentioned in connexion with onions? I fancy the
reason to be this. There is a variety of the onion tribe commonly called
_potato_ or _multiplying onion_. It is the rule to _plant_ this onion on
St. Thomas's day. From this circumstance it appears to me likely that this
sort of onion may be so called, though I never heard of it before. They are
fit for use as large hard onions some time before the other sort.


Norwich, March 10. 1851.


_Roman Catholic Peers_ (Vol. iii., p. 209.). - The proper comment has been
passed on the Duke of Norfolk, but not on the other two Roman Catholic
peers mentioned by Miss Martineau. She names Lord Clifford and Lord Dormer
as "having obtained entrance _at last_ to the legislative assembly, where
their fathers sat and ruled when their faith was the law of the land." The
term "fathers" is of course figuratively used, but we may conclude the
writer meant to imply their ancestors possessing the same dignity of
peerage, and enjoying, in virtue thereof, the right of "sitting and ruling"
in the senate of their country. If such was the lady's meaning, what is her
historical accuracy? The first Lord Dormer was created in the reign of
James I., in the year 1615; and, dying the next year, never sat in
parliament: and it has been remarked as a very singular fact that this
barony had existed for upwards of two centuries before any of its
possessors did so. But the first Lord Dormer, who sat in the House of
Lords, was admitted, not by the Roman Catholic Relief Act, but by the fact
of his being willing to take the usual oaths: this was John, the tenth
lord, who succeeded his half-brother in 1819, and died without issue in
1826. As for Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, that family was not raised to the
peerage until the year 1672, in the reign of Charles II.

J. G. N.

_Election of a Pope_ (Vol. iii., p. 142.). - Probably T. refers to the
(alleged) custom attendant upon the election of a pope, as part of the
ceremony alluded to in the following lines in _Hudibras_: -

"So, cardinals, they say, do grope
At t'other end the new made Pope"
Part I. canto iii. l. 1249. [24mo. ed. of 1720.]

In the notes to the above edition (and probably to other of the old
editions) your correspondent will find a detailed explanation of these two
lines: I refer him to the work itself, as the "note" is scarcely fit to
transcribe here.


_Comets_ (Vol. iii., p. 223.). - There is a copious list of all the comets
that have appeared _since the creation_, and of all that _will appear up
to_ A.D. 2000, in the _Art de vérifier les Dates_, vol. i. part i.; and
vol. i. part ii. of the last edition.


_Camden and Curwen Families_ (Vol. iii., pp. 89. 125.). - H. C. will find,
in Harl. MS. 1437. fo. 69., a short pedigree of the family of Nicholas
Culwen of Gressiard and Stubbe, in the county of Lancaster, showing his
descent from Gilbert Culwen or Curwen (a younger brother of Curwen of
Workington), who appears to have settled at Stubbe about the middle of the
fifteenth century.

Although this pedigree was recorded by authority of Norroy King of Arms, in
1613, while Camden held the office of Clarenceux, it does not show any
connexion with Gyles Curwen, who married a daughter and coheir of Barbara,
of Poulton Hall, in the county of Lancaster, and whose daughter Elizabeth
was the wife of Sampson Camden of London, and mother of Camden.
Nevertheless, it may possibly throw some light on the subject.

If H. C. cannot conveniently refer to the Harl. MSS., I will with much
pleasure send him a copy of this pedigree, and of another, in the same MS.,
fo. 29., showing Camden's descent from Gyles Curwen, if he will communicate
his address to the Editor of "NOTES AND QUERIES."


_Auriga_ (Vol. iii., p. 188.). - That part of the Roman bridle which went
about the horse's ears (_aures_), was termed _aurea_; which, being by a
well-known grammatical figure put for the whole head-gear of the horse,
suggests as a meaning of _Auriga_, "_is qui_ AUREAS AGIT, he who manages,
guides, or (as we say) handles, the reins."


Ecclesfield Hall.

_Straw Necklaces_ (Vol. i., p. 4., &c.). - May not these be possibly only
Spenser's "rings of rushes," mentioned by him among other fragile ornaments
for the head and neck?

"Sometimes her head she fondly would aguize
With gaudy girlonds, or fresh flowrets dight
About her necke, or rings of rushes plight."
_F. Q._ lib. ii. canto vi. st. 7.


_The Nine of Diamonds, called the Curse of Scotland_ (Vol. i., pp. 61.,
90.). - The following explanation is given in a _Classical Dictionary of the
Vulgar Tongue_, 1785; an ignoble authority, it must be admitted: -

"Diamonds imply royalty, being ornaments to the imperial crown, and
every ninth King of Scotland has been observed for many ages to be a
tyrant, and a curse to that country."

J. H. M.

"_Cum Grano Salis_" (Vol. iii., pp. 88. 153.). - I venture to suggest, that
in this phrase the allusion is to a rich and unctuous morsel, which, when
assisted _by a little salt_, will be tolerated by the stomach, otherwise
will be rejected. In the same way an extravagant statement, when taken with
a slight qualification (_cum grano salis_) will be tolerated by the mind. I
should wish to be informed what writer first uses this phrase in a
metaphorical sense - not, I conceive, any classical author.

X. Z.

* * * * *



Mr. Rees of Llandovery announces for publication by subscription (under the
auspices of the Welsh MSS. Society), a new edition of _The Myvyrian
Archæology of Wales_, with English translations and notes, {254} nearly the
whole of the historical portions of which, consisting of revised copies of
Achan y Saint, historical triads, chronicles, &c. are ready for the press,
having been prepared for the late Record Commission, by Aneurin Owen, Esq.,
and since placed by the Right Hon. the Master of the Rolls at the disposal
of the Welsh MSS. Society for publication. As the first volume consists of
ancient poetry from the sixth to the fourteenth centuries, much of which,
from its present imperfect state, requires to be collated with ancient MS.
copies of the poems, not accessible to the former editors; in order to
afford more time for that most essential object, it is proposed to commence
with the publication of the historical matter: while the laws of Howel Dda,
having been recently published by the Record Commission, will not be
included; by which means it is expected the original Welsh text and English
translations of the rest of the work can be comprised in four or five
volumes, as the greatest care will be paid to the quantity of matter and
its accuracy, as well as typographical excellence, so as to ensure the
largest amount of information at the least expense. We need hardly say that
this patriotic undertaking has our heartiest wishes for its success.

The Rev. J. Forshall, one of the editors of the recently published
_Wickliffe Bible_, has just edited, under the title of _Remonstrance
against Romish Corruptions in the Church, addressed to the People and
Parliament of England in 1395, 18 Ric. II._, a most valuable paper drawn up
by Purvey, one of Wickliffe's friends and disciples, for the king, lords,
and commons, then about to assemble in parliament. As presenting a striking
picture of the condition of the English Church at the time, when combined
efforts were first made with any zealousness of purpose for its amendment
and reform; and affording a tolerably complete sketch of the views and
notions of the Wickliffite party on those points of ecclesiastical polity
and doctrine, in which they were most strongly opposed to the then
prevailing opinions; this publication is an extremely valuable contribution
to the history of a period in our annals, which has scarcely yet received
it due share of attention: while the great question which is agitating the
public mind renders the appearance of Purvey's tract at this moment
peculiarly well-timed. Mr. Forshall has executed his task in a very able
manner; the introduction is brief and to the purpose, and the short
glossary which he has appended is just what it should be.

The Camden Society has lately added a very important work to its list of
intended publications. It is the _St. Paul's Domesday of the Manors
belonging to the Cathedral in the year 1222_, and is to be edited with an
introduction and illustrative notes, by Archdeacon Hale.

Messrs. Puttick and Simpson (191. Piccadilly) will sell, on Monday next and
four following days, a selection of valuable Books, including old poetry,
plays, chap-books, and drolleries, and some important MSS. connected with
English County and Family History.

Messrs. Sotheby and Wilkinson (3. Wellington Street, Strand) will sell on
Monday the valuable collection of English coins and medals of Abraham
Rhodes, Esq.; on Wednesday and Thursday, a valuable collection of
engravings, drawings, and paintings, including a very fine drawing of
Torento by Turner; and on Friday and two following days, the valuable
assemblage of Greek, &c. coins and medals, including the residue of the
Syrian Regal Tetradrachms, recently found at Tarsus in Cilicia, the
property of F. R. P. Boocke, Esq.

BOOKS RECEIVED. - _Angels the Ministers of God's Providence. A Sermon
preached before the University of Dublin on Quinquagesima Sunday, 1851, by
the Rev. Richard Gibbings, M.A. - The Legend of Saint Peter's Chair, by
Anthony Rich, Jun., B.A._ A clever and caustic reply to Dr. Wiseman's
attack on Lady Morgan, by a very competent authority - the learned editor of
the _Illustrated Companion to the Latin Dictionary and Greek Lexicon_. Dr.
Wiseman pronounced Lady Morgan's statement to be "foolish and wicked." Mr.
Rich has shown that these strong epithets may more justly be applied to Dr.
Wiseman's own "_Remarks_." - _Supplement to Second Edition of Dr. Herbert
Mayo's Letters on the Truths contained in Popular Superstitions_ may be
best characterised in the writer's own words, as "a notice of some peculiar
motions, hitherto unobserved, to the manifestation of which, an influence
unconsciously proceeding from the living human frame is necessary," and a
very startling notice it is.

CATALOGUES RECEIVED. - Williams and Norgate's (14. Henrietta Street)
Catalogue No. 2. of Foreign Second-hand Books, and Books at reduced Prices;
W. Nield's (46. Burlington Arcade) Catalogue No. 5. of Very Cheap Books; W.
Waller and Son's (188. Fleet Street) Catalogue, Part 1. for 1851, of Choice
Books at remarkably low prices.

* * * * *


THE PATRICIAN, edited by Burke. Vol. 1.
HISTORICAL REGISTER. January, 1845. Nos. 1. to 4.
A MIRROR FOR MATHEMATICS, by Robert Farmer, Gent. London, 1587.

*** Letters stating particulars and lowest price, _carriage free_, to be
sent to MR. BELL, Publisher of "NOTES AND QUERIES," 186. Fleet Street.

* * * * *

Notices to Correspondents.

_We this week have the pleasure of presenting our readers with an extra
Eight Pages, rendered necessary by our increasing correspondence. If each
one of our readers could procure us one additional subscriber, it would
enable us to make this enlargement permanent, instead of occasional._

E. N. W. _A ring which had belonged to Mary Queen of Scots, very similar to
that which_ E. N. W. _possesses, was exhibited some years since. A friend,
on whose judgment we place great reliance, is of the opinion that the
cutting on_ E. N. W.'s _ring is modern. Could not_ E. N. W. _exhibit it at
the Society of Antiquaries? Mr. Akerman, the resident Secretary would take
charge of it for that purpose._

LAMMER BEADS. _Justice to_ MR. BLOWEN _requires that we should explain that
his article in_ No. 68. _was accidentally inserted after he had expressed
his wish to withdraw it, in consequence of_ MR. WAY'S _most satisfactory
paper in_ No. 67.

E. M. "God tempers the wind," &c. _Much curious illustration of this
proverb, of which the French version occurs in Gruter's_ Florilegium,
_printed in 1611, will be found in_ "NOTES AND QUERIES," Vol. I., pp. 211.
236. 325. 357. 418.

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